Tuesday, October 4, 2011

OpenLinkNight: I was a m---

muscular level 36 ranger with a vorpal blade
and ring that multiplied my armor by eight,
when you walked into a dungeon full of
bugbears, kobolds or gelatinous cubes, with
hit points low and your life on the line,
you wanted me at your back, cause i was
one bad ass m---

middle schooler tired of getting that ass
handed to him by those thinking he was
weak, why is it they always picked those
of us that were small, still developing,
waiting on our first hair on the chest
and well every where else

Everyone wants/needs/has an escape

so give me a twenty sided die and I could
be anyone I wanted to be, and at the end
of the day, when they counted the XP,
Redmond Trantell kicked ass and it felt
good to know it was someone else's and
not my own, that I was not the one going home
to explain why my new shirt was ripped,
lip busted or eye black and lets not start
on the bruises and contusions hidden
because who wants to be known forever
as the punch punch punching bag m---

maybe you're already judging me, D&D?
seriously? isn't that for...for...for what?
as if you don't feel good playing angry
birds, or writing fiction on your twitter
to make you look bigger, collect friends
on facebook or count your blog comments,

trade dollar signs for status or use
your job title in casual conversation, use more intials
in your introduction than an alphabet dissertation,
leave your real opinions anon, maybe even
beat on someone you think
is weaker, m---

man, so tell me, tell me
what fantasy does your reality
hide behind?

no don't cause then i would have to
tell you m---

mine.

OpenLinkNight at dVerse Poets Pub - where we get dressed up in verse and hit the dance floor until...well for 33 hours to be exact. So come dance with the stars and bring something poetic. Nice culturally relevant intro there eh? The ever incredible Tashtoo is hosting...so see you at 3 pm EST when the party gets started.

122 comments:

kaykuala said...

Brian,
Reminds me when we had our boxing training back in school-days. I was way down in the gnat weight one of the lowest for school-boys. It was fun just as you had described!

Hank

kaykuala said...

Brian,
Wow.. wee!!! for the first time ever, top of the list!

Hank

Louise said...

Strong stuff! Glad I don't need twitter any more to validate my existence. But goes back to that insecurity thing...and that often comes from those school days. I certainly had/have my escape...now into poetry! And isn't that just a great thing? :)

Slamdunk said...

Relevant topic Brian on a sad and unnecessary problem that has plagued youth for so long.

I can certainly relate. As a someone who didn't grow to an average size until hs, I was the little guy either fighting back or taking it (even though being in sports helped me avoid some) and wishing I had the broad sword that sucked souls.

Pat said...

This made me sad as it reminded me of when my son was in middle school and how awful some kids were to him. Gosh kids can be so mean!

Magpie said...

This was great!
"man, so tell me, tell me
what fantasy does your reality
hide behind?"
So true, so true. Everything changes, but stays the same.

Pat Hatt said...

Yes people do seem to live on status a lot
Thinking with a bazillion twitter/blog/facebook/whatever the heck else followers they are so hot
When they know what? 10?
And still hide out in their mothers den.
Yet think they are all big and bad
Picking on another lass or lad
But they will get it in the end
At least I hope that is their karma trend

David Allen Waters said...

the world can be mean, but nothing is as mean as a middle schooler....

another great write dude :)

happygirl said...

We all want to be validated, don't we? It's amazing... I'm at the age of not caring what others think of me and moving to the age when I know I will be pushed aside and considered bothersome. Maybe I'll still blog and have 100 comments a day and feel the love. :)

Lolamouse said...

Brought back some tough memories for me, even as a girl. We got picked on plenty too. Maybe I'll even play around with this idea from the female perspective...

Daydreamertoo said...

Phewww!
Nothing worse than being bullied. Been on the wrong end of that as a kid, it's not nice at all.
It's so hard to help the victim too without making it worse for them too.
Nicely told, blunt and hits home M... and, I know you're not one....*winks!

Eva Gallant said...

Kids can be so cruel.

Anyes said...

Everyones reality needs a bit of escape and lucky enough for us yours is really inspiring in more ways than one. :-)

Daniel said...

You can't see me, but right now I am snapping my fingers in complete agreement. Good rant man.

hedgewitch said...

It gasses me that you were a ranger, man--I loved playing ranger, til I found out that sorcerer was even better at the ranged weapons--why rely on a measly arrow when you can throw a fireball, I say.Then the hippy element turned me druid. ;_) Like the way you challenge assumptions in this--excellent piece, brian.

LadyCat said...

"collect friends
on facebook or count your blog comments"...some do think size, not quality matters. It's all about the facade for many. And you're right, if we knew the real facts, it probably wouldn't be so impressive.

Tabor said...

This rite of passage is so necessary and so painful. I had forgotten. Girls have a different passage, but it is no less painful.

Cheryl said...

I recently had a conversation with someone I went to high school with and hadn't seen for 35 years. I told her I was bullied. Her adult response: "Who'd bully you? You're so tall?"

The wheel keeps spinning.

Deborah said...

Mmmm ... my comments may become a little repetative here, but really, you write brilliantly! :o)

my day in a sentence said...

I always wanted to try D&D! :)

ayala said...

some great lines here, Brian. Another great write :) love collect friends on Facebook and count your blog comments :)

blueviolet said...

Some people need to push others down to feel better about themselves. So not cool.

william said...

great topic brian, boxing, great sport ;)

5thsister said...

As the runt of the family litter and one of the smallest ones in school, I can relate to this. I think Dodge Ball was a game geared towards bullies. Why did the athletic jock always throw that hard red ball right at my solar plexus? Damn that hurt...but don't you dare cry because if they saw any signs of weakness they'd come back for blood.

Fred said...

Wicked fun write Brian. Brought me back- I used to love the weekly get togethers back in Grammar and HS where Jeff, Tom, Jim and I can't recall the other kids name- just see his face- but the five of us would play all sorts of role playing- but that faded as some of us got too cool for that- and why that was- well only God knows for sure. Love the way you illustrated teen angst, fear and a solution for it. Great job- and the Isaac Hayes-shaft esque-barbershop quartet play with m... was wonderfully infused into the write. Thanks, for yet again taking my mind back, to a time I had a much younger face:)

Claudia said...

so are you telling me it's not important how many FB friends i got...? smiles...good write brian - think we all need to be careful not to get our value from what we do or how good we are with certain things...now if you would excuse me...need to count my blog comments..smiles

Mama Zen said...

Great stuff, Brian! Not that any of us dweeby poet types could possibly relate . . .

Sheila Moore said...

m---
magnificent and
m---
moving :)

lori said...

*gulp* as a mother of a middle-schooler this got to me. And, beyond that, I think of myself. You are so right that we all have ways of escaping, and I don't think it's all bad either. I remember when D&D was such a big deal. It's so easy to blame the wrong things when something goes wrong. It was definitely seen as an evil in my neck of the woods. Maybe it makes others feel superior or better to pick on the misunderstood. We all have ways we escape. I know I do, but I don't think I'm up for sharing, lol :) - Another crazy-good write, Brian. I need to get writing for tonight!

Susie Clevenger said...

Great job! We all have our "thing" We play games in some form. Shoot I just twittered this morning..lol

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Is everyone an actor? I know there has to be some REAL people out there...

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"man, so tell me, tell me
what fantasy does your reality
hide behind?

no don't cause then i would have to
tell you m---"


So, true, So true...When it comes to the game "we" play.

Thanks, Brian for sharing your very thought-provoking, poetic words with your readers today.
deedee ;-D

anglachel27 said...

I loved the challenging tone here, interspersed with this sense of nostalgic (and perhaps some current) vulnerability. A piece that goes in many vivid directions.
Gene

Sue said...

My first response to this was to think that I was never bullied, but then I remembered being two years younger than everyone in my class at high school and the neighborhood b(oy)-rats who called me "Einstein."

I hated that. I'd forgotten how much till just now.

"/

Madame Sweetcheeks said...

Every human can relate to this. I love the stand-up-in-your-face-and-succinctly-argue-your-well-crafted-defense attitude...without being a jerk about it. :)
~EMind/bittersweetverse

Laurie Kolp said...

Yowza! Some amazing stuff here, Brian!

Jannie Funster said...

My Jimmy used to get beat up. And he had lost of hair. Bullies suck.

Glad you broke free and kicked ass!!

I don't know who D&D is, but I'm glad I'm not them when I read this! :)

Beachanny said...

My oldest son was a D&D freak. He carried those multi-sided cubes everywhere and had books and books of stuff. Well now he has about 1000 patents, is an electrical engineer and a really good dad. In third grade he got picked on by the schoolyard bully. He broke his glasses and Greg pounded the tar out of him. No one bullied him physically again! Quite a poem here Brian!

S. Sharp said...

Brian
Another great one of yours. How world can be mean and how we easily get addicted to twitter and all other networks.

Loved't ... Shadiatique

manicddaily said...

Are you counting these comments? Ha.

Hard to be bullied/hard to watch. Probably feels harder to watch until one is actually hit.

waysidewordgarden said...

wow... The facades we hide behind and take out on others... from bullying in middle school to the adult veneers of job/status/money, etc. Just aching for the sadness related to bullying, hiding behind the real self and hurting others.

velvetinapurrs said...

Brian, i really appreciated the encompassing of all of our very human and flawed nature in this, we are all weak at times, insecure in the face of those that may shout louder or punch harder etc, and your write shows a gentle humanity expressed

Adam White, Poet said...

I think you just levelled up.

ayala said...

Brian, sorry ...but it's the third week that I am trying to leave Daydreamertoo a comment and I can't get through. I noticed that you were able to. Could you please ask Daydreamertoo for the email address...and pass it on to me, thanks.

Natasha said...

Love this! so states Mage Malinere ;) I was a girl role playing with boys...you can imagine the talk! But man...I ruled the roll of the dice. Oh my...good times (really good times if you believe the rumors!)Love all the dogma that comes with admitting such things, but you sum up why we do it beautifully, and...unlike some, I've just about outgrown it...

Elaine said...

Wow that one packed a punch. What have I been missing? Great writing as always Brian.

Chris G. said...

*gasp* Brian's a d&der? The things you learn at the pub ;)

Adura Ojo said...

"man, so tell me, tell me
what fantasy does your reality
hide behind?"

Word! We all have our escape route. It's just handy to make sure it does not come with a health warning, lool!
Really love this, Brian.
The play on the m... too which to me indicates the vulnerability of the character in the poem. - A vulnerability that we all have.

Nezzy said...

I taught in Middle School. Many ya know from where you write!

Great job once again, made for a stupendous read!

God bless ya! :o)

quazism said...

So sad. Being on the receiving end Sucks.Nice write Brian.

Myrna R. said...

Ouch Brian, this speaks so loud, it hurts. Maybe we all hide behind twitter or whatever serves our need to think we're bigger, better, more powerful.

What strong and courageous writing.

Friko said...

But which is the fantasy and which is the reality?
Sometimes we do our fantasy so well we have lost sight of what is real.

As always, you dazzle.

wolfsrosebud said...

complicated we are as people... character building... hopefully

Titanium said...

Wow. This one has more layers than glacier crevasse. I can almost see you lacing up the gloves and stepping into the ring before throwing the powerful jab, uppercut, hook and cross that this poem radiates.

When my daughter loafed off and got her first F of the year, I took away her texting. I deactivated my FB account the same day, because I reckon that at the age of eleven- if she's failing, then I've failed her, somewhere.

Instead of social networking, we practice martial arts, ice skate, rock climb and tell each other long, drawn out stories about "this one time when..."

I don't think I want to reactivate my FB account or her texting privileges. If I do my job right, she'll be lacing up her gloves to take on bullies before I even have time to put her mouthguard in.

Thanks for this write- it packs a punch.

eclipsingwinter said...

Sweet vindication... I love this m...
I grew up on the poor side of a poor town. That is just about equivalent to hiding contusions and bruises (only mine were never visible to begin with). Astounding poetry, Brian. You're the m...

Daydreamertoo said...

Ok thanks Brian, will email her

Daydreamertoo said...

I can't email her unless she leaves me a note...can I ...duhhhh! LOL
I just left her one but didn't want to put my email addy in public for getting spammed..

Victoria said...

You put me inside the mind of those poor kids (and sometimes, adults) who are the victim of bullying. Sad commentary.

Daydreamertoo said...

Ok, I found her email addy by going through my old comments, sent her one.

Thanks ;)

oceangirl said...

oh I so like the m.. this is high level poetry.

Crystal said...

This gives me a little insight into why my 3 sons spent so much time on video games and D & D when they were in middle school. Nice write.

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

That was powerful and brave. I have to thank for the a few of the last parts about making one self feel bigger.

tinkwelborn said...

this is really good, brian…you wove a great line from the threads of gaming and the self-esteems (validation, respect, dignity, confidence, morale, on and on) and fantasy.
best lines for me:
what fantasy does your reality
hide behind?

no don't cause then i would have to
tell you m---

mine.

makes me ask: is this Walter Mitty speaking?

Very good poem and great material chosen.

jackie dick said...

Tried to get in touch w. you, but someone told me u were busy counting mentions, RTs, etc. So okay what's your vice now that you conquered this one...We do have our addictions and screwed up values sometimes, don't we. Nice write, Brian!

pandamoniumcat said...

Another interesting look a life in these modern times...so many subjects in which to delve... I wish I'd had a muscular ranger with a vorpal sword at my back in my first year of high school... it's not good being bullied at any time in your life.
Another fine write!

christi moon said...

well said Brian! enjoyed the strong sentiments expressed here.

makes one wonder if all these devices are friend or foe?

Kim Nelson said...

This feels like the script for a short film, Brian, in the vein of "Fight Club" or some other CP tale. Nice!

mrs mediocrity said...

we always remember those years, they leave their mark on us. love the way you ended this.

mairmusic said...

Cool tale. The things we substitute for the unattainable permanence of happiness.

rosaria said...

Ah, your generation bloomed playing D&D.

colleen said...

At first I felt I was going to be lost because I don't know the game world language but then it flipped on the M word and I got it and had fun reading and totally related. I loved it.

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

Reminded me of eighth grade. I was a year younger than everyone else and bookish. Another kid tormented me until I threw him over a fence. Then his older, bigger brother came and beat me up. The m-! Connected with this one...

johnallenrichter said...

Brian, again, what a moving piece! You completely took me back to Junior High m...

man... ! Cool Poem... (said the hairless kid...)

Brian Miller said...

charles...you threw him over a fence...you are the bad ass here...wow dude...haha...glad you related man...i think in some way many of us can...

M said...

Someone is having so much fun here, doing creative wordplay, m...

it gives people insights as well, lovely piece.

m...

Mindful and Marvelous!

M said...

Someone is having so much fun here, doing creative wordplay, m...

it gives people insights as well, lovely piece.

m...

Mindful and Marvelous!

Nick Rolynd said...

I'm not going to even get into the diction, the wordplay, the images, the...Only thing I can say to sum this up:

I know the feeling.

- Nick

Amy Everett said...

Wow this reminds of what I went through alot of my life. The crazy part is I posted a poem about this tonight. you wrote it so much better thanks for sharing. This is amazing and strong. I love your writing.

Ed Pilolla said...

the weak eat sh*t sandwiches. the great tradition of our world. vanity is based on fear.
muscular write, my man.

henry clemmons said...

yowser, i hope that was generic and not pointed :) YOU can sure do some poetic undressing. one of my favs of urs of late. lots of attitude and passion. very nice.

chromapoesy.com said...

Ok, I can't believe you wrote this because I almost posted a poem today about RPGs and their role in my life. I play them and strategy games on the PS3 and it's like my dirty little secret (that only Joy knows - well, now you too and hopefully not every visitor to your blog). Sounds like you (or an avatar created for your poem) played as a young person. I'm 37 and I played one last night. TMI I know so now I'll just say I loved it and slink off somewhere like Ferelden or Cyrodiil :)!

gautami tripathy said...

I am on a culling spree in FB. Loving' it!


a song, this is?

ds said...

Whew! Applauding, breathless. So true and so cleverly done. As always.

Alan Burnett said...

Yet another fine offering Brian. As I have said on many occasions before - nobody does it better.

Patricia said...

way to go Brian...
really liked this. If it doesn't kill us, it makes us stronger right?

SueAnn said...

Fabulous words!! Loved this piece and it is oh so this way! My son came home many a time with torn shirt or missing jackets or soaking wet coat! I wanted to maim hurt destroy as well!!!
To protect him, to shield him, but I couldn't! Sob!
He grew...and grew!! And then he was at peace and loving and kind and patient...wonderful son! Brave and courageous!
Thank you Brian
More armor for all the kids!!
Hope they stop hurting themselves!
So sad!
Hugs
SueAnn

Shadow said...

the world of pretense is alive and well. the scary truth this is...

Brendan said...

Do we ever outgrow our masturbation fantasies of she-flesh swooning to the chiseled masculine we dream of? I don't think so. And you account so wonderfully the means by which the puerile impulse can write itself so large and in charge, gaming, on social media, in this excessively narcissistic culture of ours. Count me in, playing Roy Rogers on my seahorse. - Brendan

The Tame Lion said...

Excellent!

lynne said...

Hey, I know this guy..All pomp & circumstance, living behind that "wall" of security UNTIL a rock is thrown and guess what, then he will be going home telling his wife (if he has one) why his shirt is ripped..

Well done Brian.. much enjoyed the edge of this!!

James Rainsford said...

Nicely exemplifies the pain of being bullied and the triumph of intelligence over vanity & fear.

Zuzana said...

It is funny, but no one can be so cruel as a child can, as a child is brutally honest and amoral.
I was a child once and teased terribly by other kids, as I was from a privileged home and so envied by those that had less. I had to learn how to defend myself and stand up for myself, verbally and physically as well.;)
Poignant writing dear Brian, have a great midweek,
xoxo

Lorraine said...

Mmy you're fantastic, Oh I bet they are all drooling mud.../cause you outrocked them all...Love this

tony said...

Young Feelings Hiding Behind Old Faces............

Steve King said...

Brian,

A dynamic and thoughtful write. This really moved from first to last. It seems to me you've found a way to incorporate your reality into your fantasy....maybe that's the way to have the best of both worlds. I enjoyed this a great deal.

C Rose said...

haha such a great write! Okay so I wasn't huge into D&D but I will say I had a great period of life in the MMO world and it was fantastic fun! How quickly we judge the play of others, I never got that...you spoke my thoughts in this! ~ Rose

Ann Grenier said...

Sounds like a poem today's school kids could relate to, perhaps becoming attracted to reading/writing poetry. Couldn't help wondering if you do share your work with the young people you work with. Sounds right on to me...having no clue what D&D is;-)

kez said...

Wow this packs a punch ...a sorry tale too common to so many ...well told thank you x

Heather said...

LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!! I think as we get older we know who we are...i would never go back to school - to brutal! great write....:)

lifeisaroadtrip said...

This one is super good, Brian! The Internet has created a lot of bullies.

Syd said...

Being a kid can be rough. We aren't often kind to each other. Maybe kindness comes as we learn that it is about survival.

Lady Nyo said...

Serious, serious topical-social commentary.

I applaud you, Brian. You get better and better with each poem.

Lady Nyo

Little Ms Blogger said...

I have to tell you, I get a personal chuckle from the people who do the title dropping into conversations. I always think, does that title of yours brush your teeth or help put your underwear on in the morning? Does it help make you a person I'd want to hang out with? Most times not because they rely too much on their title to give them a personality.

Ann LeFlore said...

As we grow older we learn who we are and what we want out of life and who we want as friends I think it would not be fun to have to do it all over again
http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/10/04/memories/#comment-1442

Kavita said...

*sigh* the things we do to prove our worth.. I wonder why, and to whom !

A super powerful read, B...
and the last line where you end it with "m..." for "mine" - just plain AWESOME!

Glynn said...

I was that skinny eighth grader, watching all my friends develop. Good poem, Brian, and it hit home.

robkistner said...

Very cool write Brian, and yes -- we've all had a facade behind which we've hidden... for me it's an occasional emotional facade to hide my true thoughts or feelings. Although, the older I get, the less I'm inclined to hide what's on my mind... old men are allowed to be opinionated, even grumpy... :)

Daydreamertoo said...

Hi, just to let you know I nominated you for this award:
Versatile Bloggers Award

The Orange Tree said...

powerful stuff.

messages conveyed in a poetic and fun way, well done.

Kitty said...

As long as normal family life is not impacted, 'addictions' of Facebook, Blogging, or Twitter are benign ways to get 'High' and have a merry-go-round ride.

Truly enjoyed your way to looking at the issues.

Keep up the excellence.

C Rose said...

I have nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award. Your site always inspires me in poetry and I believe you deserve this recognition. Please claim your award and follow the three requirements for this award. It is my honor to nominate you for this award. Thank you.

http://wp.me/p1lGBx-qO

yellowhousecafe said...

koooool...you could so do this spoken, fine "in your face "write. So right, too, the more one talks smack the more I wonder what fantasy they're livin' ~

Margaret said...

...Oh Brian - I hope you really didn't have to endure all that!

Andy said...

Hello.
Kids & even adults can be so cruel. It's no fun to be bullied. I saw on the news a while back some poor kid committed suicide because of bullying. It's totally wrong & what's worse is there doesn't seem to be a way to get rid of it.

Powerful & evocative write.

Thanks for sharing & visiting, my friend

Jyoti Mishra said...

loved this line..
Everyone wants/needs/has an escape

and yeah kids can be cruel s sometimes :D

Rallentanda said...

Redmond Trantell kicked ass...well with a name like that of course he did!I must use this name somewhere
...hilarious.

Shawna said...

Another excellent piece, Brian. I really liked this: "leave your real opinions anon" and of course all the other words. :)

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Great stuff Brian.

Anna :o]

Vicki Lane said...

Really love this one, Brian. Both my sons are still gamers (in their thirties) -- in fact, my older son writes and develops games for White Wolf.

Stranger said...

Ooh, inspires me to write about my own D&D adventures.. I still have my bag of dice. And I still live for XP.

farmlady said...

"The worlds a stage", Bryan. It's a matter of survival to have fantasies that give us hope... and some fun.
Living in the real world is the hard part.

Joanne said...

Ah, in my case, it was sci fi and fantasy stories. I missed D&D and went straight to playing Magic the Gathering with my son when he was 12. Also Zelda on Super Nintendo. My son was the inspiration to leave the passivity of reading to actually role play. Good memories. I see all the parallels to the puffing up of male chests and the terrified little boys inside. You have put it all into a wondrous story that led me on through the m's...